Meet the Faculty

Steven D. Paulson

Steven D. Paulson

Professor of Systematic Theology

  • Th.D. (Lutheran School of Theology)
  • Ordained (ELCA)
  • M.Th. (Lutheran School of Theology)
  • M.Div. (Luther Seminary)


Steven Paulson joined the Luther Seminary faculty as associate professor of systematic theology in the fall of 1998 after serving as assistant professor of religion at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., where he had been since 1993.

He was pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Washington Island, Wis., from 1990 to 1993. His experience also includes two years of work as a research librarian at JKM Library in Chicago and five years as a psychiatric counselor at Fairview Hospitals in Minneapolis.

Paulson is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., and earned the master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 1984. He holds both the master of theology (1988) and doctor of theology (1992) degrees from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.

He has been honored with the Goethe Institute Scholarship (1985) and the North American Ministerial Fellowship (1980-84).

Paulson currently serves on the editorial boards of Word and World and both the Lutheran Quarterly and Dialog and has written articles for both journals. He is the author of Luther for Armchair Theologians and editor of A More Radical Gospel, The Captivation of the Will, and The Preached God all written by Gerhard Forde.

Featured Work

Lutheran Theology

Lutheran Theology

Bloomsbury T&T Clark (April, 2011)

The Doing Theology series introduces the major Christian traditions and their way of theological reflection. The volumes focus on the origins of a particular theological tradition, its foundations, key concepts, eminent thinkers and historical development. The series is aimed at readers who want to learn more about their own theological heritage and identity: theology undergraduates, students in ministerial training and church study groups.

Lutheran Theology


CD 1630 01DEATH AND RESURRECTION Spring Semester 2015-2016

This course is a semester long meditation on death and its death, namely resurrection. Topics related to final things -- judgment, death, new creation, and resurrection -- are considered in light of biblical, systematic, liturgical, art-historical, and philosophical resources. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of the Bible and systematic theology in the construction of a Christian theology of death, dying, and resurrection. Emphasis is placed on the material's usefulness to the ministry of the church, including but not limited to the ministry of the sacraments, the preaching of the Gospel, care for the dying and catechesis.

SG 0401 01THINKING THEOLOGICALLY- CONFESSING Spring Semester 2015-2016

What does it mean to be a public witness to Jesus Christ in a pluralistic, post-secular, consumer society? Using classical and contemporary thinkers in systematic theology, students will think critically about how and in what ways God encounters us in and through our neighbors, calling us to examine our own assumptions about who God is and what God does in law and promise. Centered in Jesus Christ crucified and risen, the course examines how justification/sanctification by faith alone turns us outward from the self through the Holy Spirit to participate in God's work of reconciliation, justice, and peace with our neighbor and for our neighbor. Students develop their identity as Christian leaders and grow in their theological capacity to offer public leadership in a wide range of ministry settings.

ST 0415 01TRIUNE GOD AND WORLD-GOD THE CREATOJanuary Term 2015-2016

This course provides instruction and practice in theologically-based practical reasoning for ministerial contexts, including a comprehensive, coherent presentation of the articles of faith, and cultivating theological imagination in view of communities and neighbors through current questions, challenges to faith, and awareness of diverse contexts. Each class will focus on a particular article of the creed or related Christian doctrines for the practices of ministry. Focus: God the Creator

HT 0801 01LUTHERAN CONFESSIONAL WRITINGS Fall Semester 2015-2016

A study of the confessions of the Lutheran Church as set forth in the Book of Concord. The documents of the reforming movement, viewed in the historical settings, are explicated in the light of their witness to the centrality of the gospel of justification by faith. Consideration is given to the contemporary importance of this witness for the life and mission of the Lutheran Church in a post-secular age. A central question of the course focuses on what it means to confess today in ecumenical engagement, in culturally diverse situations and interfaith contexts, and how that confession is shaped by those contexts.


The office of the keys in doctrine and practice. Historical teaching and modern debates are considered, with the emphasis on current use of repentance and absolution in church and world.

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